“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."



Heads of governments during the opening session of the African Union summit
on January 30, 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa (AFP, Samuel Gebru)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Star-Gazing Tourists Flock to Africa’s Darkest Place

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Andrew Beatty, Dec 07, 2014

Active regions on the sun combine to look something like a jack-o-lantern's face,
 as pictured in this image provided by NASA on Oct. 8, 2014. In addition to the Namib
 desert, Hawaii and Chile have become renowned as astro-tourism hot spots,
according to AFP. (Reuters Photo/NASA/Handout)

The Namib Desert, Namibia. Not many tourist spots boast of being dark and difficult to get to, but the Namib desert is one of a number of remote “Dark Sky Reserves” drawing in stargazers for a celestial safari.

In the cool night air, an urbane Austrian tourist climbs rocky steps behind a chic hotel lodge and peers into a matte-black metal cylinder containing a spine of mirrors and lenses that reveal the universe.

“My mum wanted to set him on fire yesterday when he said, ‘We are looking ten million years in the past!’” he joked, pointing at the resident astronomer.

Not everyone is ready to face the enormity of the universe laid out so starkly by powerful magnification and the crisp desert sky.

But across the starkly beautiful Namib, hotels and lodges are betting that the stars will lead to more business rather than a spike in Galileo-esque witch hunts.

Many lodges have bought research-grade or “prosumer” telescopes and hired live-in astronomers as they try to lure tourists who want to gaze deeper into space and time.

According to consultancy Euromonitor, astro-tourism holidays are growing in line with increased urbanization, with Africa in particular “taking off”.

“Most people come here for the other activities, visiting the dunes or the nature reserve where you see all the wildlife. This is kind of a bonus,” said Misha Vickas, formerly a guide at a public observatory in Sydney, but now resident at the AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

“Most people have never looked through a telescope and a lot of them have just never looked up.”

Vickas operates a “go-to” telescope, a device which, once calibrated, pivots on demand to any star or planet with little more than a mechanical hum and whir.

Not that a telescope is really needed in the Namib.

Across as much as 50 percent of the Earth the starry firmament is obscured by an orange glow of man-made light pollution.

During the day, the Namib’s sea of copper red and ecru yellow dunes and mountains glow blindingly, befitting the world’s oldest desert.

But in the inky night sky, the Milky Way seems much closer than Windhoek, a half day’s drive away across dirt track and sun-rippled single-lane carriageway.

Mars’s red glow, Magellanic clouds — dwarf galaxies outside our own — and assorted gaseous nebulae are all visible with the naked eye.

“The sky is particularly good to look at here, because the Milky Way, which is the main part of our galaxy, is usually very high overhead,” meaning light refraction is at a minimum, Vickas said.

“There is a lot to look at.”

Darkest places on earth

In 2012, a sliver of the central Namib the size of Mauritius — the NamibRand — was named Africa’s first “Dark Sky Reserve,” in recognition of the sky’s special allure here.

A handful of similar sites exist across the world, including Aoraki Mackenzie on New Zealand’s South Island and the Iveragh Peninsula on Ireland’s southwest coast.

Hawaii and Chile have also become renowned as astro-tourism hot spots.

“The darkest places are almost inevitably distant from populated places,” said John Barentine of the Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association, which awards the designation.

“The glow of cities can often be seen several hundred kilometers away under good conditions.”

To rank sky quality, scientists use measurements like the Bortle scale.

An inner city is level nine, meaning you can see very little. Bright constellations like Orion may be faint or even invisible.

At the other end of the scale, in a first-class sky like the Namib, Venus and Jupiter shine bright, a white swathe of zodiacal light smears the sky.

Like parts of Chile, the Namib’s good weather and ultra-dry atmosphere make for clear nights and particularly transparent air all the way to the horizon.

“A visitor to NamibRand has a statistically high probability of experiencing that exceptionally dark sky on any given night,” Barentine said.

Namibia has just over two million people spread over an area roughly the size of Pakistan or Nigeria, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.

“NamibRand is located in one of the darkest accessible places that remain on Earth,” said Barentine.

“It is as close as you get to the way the world was long ago, before the invention and proliferation of artificial lights.”

That may be the only thing this remote region is close to — thankfully for stargazing tourists.

Agence France-Presse

Saturday, December 6, 2014

An organic garden of plenty in Mali's arid soil

Yahoo – AFP, December 6, 2014

An organic garden of plenty in Mali's arid soil

SATINEBOUGOU (Mali) (AFP) - In a strikingly green corner of Mali, one man is leading an agricultural revolution, using organic farming methods to get the most out of the land -- and pass his techniques on to others in west Africa.

Oumar Diabate has established a reputation for raising chemical-free vegetables, fruit and medicinal plants at his small farm about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the capital Bamako.

In a vast country where two-thirds of the terrain is desert, Diabate, 47, lovingly tends his two hectares (five acres), nudging tomatoes, courgettes, lettuce and beetroot from the ochre soil.

He and five permanent employees also grow fruit trees and plants required for traditional medicine, while dairy cows and sheep graze nearby and chickens fuss about in a separate enclosure.

Diabate acquired the small farm in the village of Satinebougou in 2005 after years away from home doing his veterinary training in Moscow.

A big man with a boxer's build, Diabate was inspired by French environmentalist and farmer Pierre Rabhi, the pioneer of techniques known as "agro-ecology".

By mixing Rahbi's methods with lessons from his studies in Russia, Diabate was soon bucking the trend in a country where agriculture usually means traditional subsistence farming with low yields.

'Even grass wouldn't grow'

"The land that I had bought here was very poor. Even grass wouldn't grow," Diabate recalls, but he had more than the soil to win over, because local peasants didn't believe in his project.

"At the beginning it wasn't easy to show other farmers this, they thought I had something, a magic potion that I was using," he said.

Diabate rejects using chemical fertilisers and pesticides on his farm -- a widespread practice in Mali -- instead he sticks to compost and manure, while rotating his crops to maintain the nutrients in the soil.

He feeds weeds to his cows and in addition to their manure, a natural fertiliser, he cultivates a range of special plants that help ward off potentially damaging insects, worms and parasites, in place of insecticides.

"Marigolds attract destructive insects to their flowers," Diabate explains.

"It means that the tomatoes can grow without being bothered. At the same time the marigolds produce a nematicidal agent in the ground and so repel parasites that were attacking the roots of the tomato plant."

Huts for trainees

Tapping his veterinary background, Diabate has experimented with cross-breeding cows. He mixed local varieties with two European types, black-and-white Holsteins and red-and-white Montbeliards, to produce what he says is an animal more resistant to disease.

"This cross also allowed us to boost milk production," he adds. "Instead of two to three litres (quarts) per cow, we have 10 to 15 litres per cow per day."

Diabate now collects about 30 baskets of fruit and vegetables a week for direct sale to consumers, just as other organic farmer increasingly do in Europe and the United States.

The aim is to support small farms and avoid losing money to middlemen. So far, Diabate has 29 regular clients in Bamako and the surrounding area, to whom he delivers once a week, on Saturdays or Tuesdays.

The baskets, prepared by Diabate's wife Fatoumata, cost 5,000 FCFA (about 7.6 euros, $9.4). Diabate said he takes home 40 percent of this -- a critical return in a nation where the average monthly salary is 50,000 FCFA (76 euros, $94).

But his other goal is to share his know-how in a land-locked nation that ranks among the world's 25 poorest and where 80 percent of the labour force works in agriculture -- mainly small-scale traditional or subsistence farms.

Diabate has built several huts and a classroom and since 2007 has welcomed trainees from inside Mali and abroad, such as Cheikh Ndour from Senegal who came to learn his techniques last year.

Government reforms

The pioneering farmer has established a Sahelian Centre for Training and Research in Agro-Ecology (CSFRA), backed by a little financial support from Urgenci, a non-governmental organisation promoting community-supported agriculture around the world.

Diabate has a place on Urgenci's committee and has joined forces with another Malian activist, Ousmane Camara, to promote agro-ecology and sustainable development.

Diabate's methods have aroused some interest, but organic production is still marginal in Mali, where subsistence farming accounts for nearly 40 percent of GDP.

Authorities have slowly introduced reforms over the past few decades and last year announced they want to make the country a regional agricultural force by 2017, in a document that resonated with some of Diabate's principles.

The goal, an official statement said, is to create jobs and revenue "following the logic of sustainable development and respect for the environment".

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Arab League backs plan to seek Palestinian statehood in UN Security Council

The Arab League has backed a plan by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek international approval for a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. Member state Jordan is due to present the draft resolution.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Nov 2014


Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said on Saturday that Jordan, which is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, would present a draft resolution setting out a timetable for the creation of a Palestinian state.

"The Palestinian issue has been circulated in the past, but what is new today is that the Arab states and Palestine decided to go to the Security Council, through Jordan, with an Arab draft resolution," Elaraby said following an extraordinary meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt's capital Cairo, according to Reuters news agency.

Arab League foreign ministers attending in extraordinary League meeting decided to press the issue and to create a follow-up committee to seek international backing for the draft resolution. It comprises Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby.

'Internationalizing' the issue

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there had been no other option but to turn to the international community.

"The current situation in the Palestinian territories cannot continue," he told League ministers in Cairo, according to Reuters.

"There is no longer a partner for us in Israel and there is nothing for us but to internationalize the issue," Abbas said.

The proposed resolution is not likely to be passed by the UN Security Council because the United States, Israel's main ally, holds veto powers. It may also fall short of the needed number of votes.

'Jewish nation' not recognized

Elaraby also ruled out League recognition Israel as a Jewish nation, following moves by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to enshrine Israel's status as the Jewish national homeland in Israeli law. Israel's Knesset parliament is due to vote on the proposal on December 3.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations brokered by the United States collapsed in April. Since then, relations have worsened, with Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fighting a deadly 50-day war earlier this year.

Fatal outbreaks

That was followed by continued settlement-building by Israel on occupied territory and fatal outbreaks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and further afield.

Palestinians seek to establish a state on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war, encompassing the Israeli-occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza Strip and a capital in East Jerusalem.

Several countries have held symbolic votes on whether to recognize Palestine as a state, including Spain and and Sweden. Parliamentarians in France are due to hold a similar vote on the issue on December 2.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Europe and Africa pledge new approach on migration issue

European and African ministers have agreed to adopt a coordinated approach to deal with the issue of migration. They are in Rome to discuss the humanitarian crisis caused by a surge in the number of migrants.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Nov 2014


Interior ministers of 58 European and African countries convened on Friday for a summit on migration in the Italian capital of Rome.

In a joint commentary published in the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Friday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni said that by strengthening the educational and health systems in African countries, Europe can tackle the refugee problem.

The two ministers emphasized the importance of comprehensive strategies and a collaborative approach - that goes beyond the policing of borders - to deal with the issue.

Senegal's interior minister, Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, said Thursday the migration issue was creating problems for both the European countries and their Mediterranean neighbors. However, Diallo said the fourth round of the so-called Rabat process in Rome had resulted in a "significant forward step" in terms of its objectives.

"For Africa, it is not desirable to see some of its best people leaving while European countries find themselves with newcomers they feel they cannot deal with," Diallo said.

Italy, the host of the summit, has been particularly affected by a rise in the number of North African migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. At least 165,000 migrants - an increase of about 100,000 people compared to last year - have entered Europe via the Mediterranean this year, according to some estimates.

The meeting of the EU and African ministers comes as a ship carrying more than 700 men,women and children broke down in international waters about 30 nautical miles (56 kilometers) from the Mediterranean on Thursday. The ship was later towed to the Greek island of Crete. It is one of the largest refugee boats to make the crossing in recent months.

shs/kms (AFP, dpa)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Congolese doctor receives EU prize for helping rape victims

Yahoo – AFP, 26 Nov 2014

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist, has been awarded the European
Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize (AFP File)

Doctor Denis Mukwege received the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize on Wednesday for his work in helping thousands of gang rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, who presented the 59-year-old with the award at a ceremony in Strasbourg, said Mukwege "fought for the dignity of women, justice and peace in his country".

"You have eased the pain of countless women and girls and offered them a helping hand so that their injured bodies and broken bodies may be healed," said Schulz.

A Congolese delegation sang for joy and waved flags from the parliamentary gallery as Schulz handed Mukwege a plaque to mark the award, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Mukwege -- who was named as recipient of the award in October for his work in treating the appalling injuries inflicted on the victims -- said he hoped the prize would help to bring the plight of women in his country to an end.

"By this prize you have decided to raise the visibility of the struggle of Congolese women," he said to repeated standing ovations from European MPs in the huge parliament chamber.

"In every raped woman I see my wife, in every raped grandmother I see my mother, in every raped child I see my children," added Mukwege, whose spouse attended the ceremony with him.

He has previously been tipped as a possible Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Members of the pro-Western Ukraine democracy and rights group EuroMaidan, which led the popular revolt against deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, were invited to the ceremony as runners up for the prize.

The third candidate was prominent Azerbaijani rights activist Leyla Yunus.

Rival forces fighting for control of the vast mineral riches in eastern DR Congo have used mass rape for decades to terrorise the local population into submission.

Mukwege trained as a gynaecologist, going on to found the General Referral Hospital of Panzi near Bukavu in South Kivu province which has seen some of the worst violence.

He survived an assassination attempt two years ago after speaking out about the continued use of rape in the conflict and accused the world of failing to act.

Last year, however, he defied threats and returned home to a warm welcome from thousands of people.

The Sakharov prize in 2013 was won by Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, while previous winners since the award was founded in 1988 include late South African rights icon Nelson Mandela and Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Belgian miner destroyed Congo homes and lied about it, claims Amnesty International

Amnesty International has accused a Belgian mining group of bulldozing hundreds of Congolese homes and benefiting from a government "cover-up." The miner denies the claims.

Deutsche Welle, 24 Nov 2014


Amnesty International says Belgian miner Groupe Forrest International took part in destroying homes near one of its mines, in the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2009.

In a report released on Monday, Amnesty said a subsidiary of the company provided bulldozers used to demolish homes and forcibly evict hundreds of people near the cobalt and copper mine, in Katanga province.

Police conducted the operation in an apparent attempt to clear the mine of small-scale miners stealing from it, but Amnesty has drawn from satellite imagery and other evidence to refute that claim.

"There is now overwhelming and irrefutable evidence showing that the forced evictions that Groupe Forrest International has denied for years in fact took place," said Audrey Gaughran, the organization's global issues director.

Amnesty claims hundreds of structures were destroyed before and after the police operation to clear the small-scale miners - destroying homes and businesses in three neighborhoods.

"Some people lost their livelihoods as well as their homes. The impacts are still felt today. One woman, whose restaurant was demolished, told us that she doesn't have the money to buy enough food to eat and had to pull her children out of school. Proper compensation for villagers would have alleviated a lot of the suffering," Gaughran said.

The report also claims that government officials in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, ordered no charges be filed - despite recommendations by a government prosecutor.

"This is a cover-up by the Congolese authorities. The state has failed its own people by not bringing anyone to justice for these forced evictions and by not ensuring that compensation was paid," Gaughran said.

Groupe Forrest International has refuted Amnesty International's claims, laying blame on police for the evictions, which it labeled "regrettable and unacceptable."

"These grave allegations are baseless and are not supported by the facts. [The company's] subsidiaries and employees always act in an ethical and responsible manner."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Uganda jails five for genital mutilation

Yahoo – AFP, 21 Nov 2014

In Uganda it is illegal to carry out genital mutilation or discriminate against
any woman who hasn't had it done

Five men and women in Uganda have been jailed for mutilating the genitals of girls, a rare conviction in the country which is trying to stamp out the often deadly practice.

The five, including those who carried out the mutilation -- which can range from hacking off the clitoris to the removal of the entire female genitalia -- were arrested in eastern Uganda's Kapchorwa district last week.

All pleaded guilty to aiding or procuring female genital mutilation (FGM), which was outlawed in 2010. They were jailed for four years, according to the Daily Monitor newspaper.

Uganda's law makes it a crime to not only carry out FGM or participate in any event leading to its practice, but also to discriminate against a woman who hasn't had it done.

While dozens of arrests have been made since the law's introduction, there have been few prosecutions.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said although the practice was "dying out" in some regions, it was still considered "a tradition" in Kapchorwa district and many continued to practise in secret.

"The law has created fear within communities, you won?t find them having these cultural days where families bring out their girls," he told AFP. "It is no longer a cultural event like male circumcision."

Florence Auma from the UN population fund UNFPA, which campaigns to end FGM, said any arrests and convictions were welcome.

"It shows the law is catching up with them and they're implementing the law," she said.
Apart from the intense pain itself, immediate dangers include bleeding and infection. In the longer term, risks include infertility and complications during childbirth, sometimes resulting in the death of the baby.

Earlier this month UN chief Ban Ki-moon launched a global campaign to end FGM within a generation.

Related Article:


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Watershed moment for Egypt's FGM ban

Sohair el-Batea died after her father took her to a rural Egyptian doctor to have her genitals cut. The two men are the first to go on trial under Egypt's FGM ban, which could be a turning point. Kristen McTighe reports.

Deutsche Welle, 19 Nov 2014


When Sohair el-Batea's father took her to Dr. Raslan Fadl's clinic in the Nile Delta village of Dierb Biqtaris to have her genitals cut, her family thought it would make her like most Egyptian girls. The vast majority of women in her community had undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), the illegal procedure done in the name of promoting chastity.

But when news spread that an allergic reaction to penicillin killed el-Batea during the operation and her father confessed that the procedure was done at the family's request, local activists and international rights groups began to campaign for justice. And when the country's chief prosecutor agreed to take up the case, el-Batea became the center of a seminal trial and the first of its kind since Egypt banned the practice in 2008.

With a further court date on Thursday in the trial of the doctor who performed the FGM procedure and el-Batea's father, activists hope a precedent for justice and accountability will finally be set. But in a country where the practice remains widely accepted and deeply entrenched, others say the trial and criminalization will do little to eradicate FGM.

Impunity for doctors and families

"It is a deep-rooted tradition in Egypt, a cultural tradition that has been going on for years and years, as it has in Africa," said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant at Equality Now, the international women's rights group that led, the push to bring el-Batea's case to trial.

According to Egyptian government figures, 91 percent of women ages 15 to 49 have been subjected to the procedure. UNICEF, the United Nations children's agency, estimates that one-fifth of the 125 million women worldwide who have undergone FGM are from Egypt. Only three countries - Somalia, Djibouti and Guinea - have a higher rate.

Following the death of a 12-year-old girl in 2008, Egypt passed a law banning the practice in all its forms. But doctors continued to practice FGM in private in both rural and urban areas, and little has been done to enforce the law. The death of al-Betea in June of 2013 brought FGM back into the spotlight.

FGM defenders

While this time around many believe the doctor and father will be convicted, members of al-Betea's community have said they will continue the practice and have supported the doctor and her father.

"People in Dierb Biqtaris practice this ugly habit and they think it's an Islamic tradition that should be followed and practiced," Reda Al Danbouki, a lawyer and local activist, told DW. "And for that they are sympathetic with the doctor and the father of Suhair and say that her death was [the will of God and no one can stop it]."

Although many in Egypt's poor, rural communities continue to defend FGM, citing religious reasons for the practice, there is no basis in religion. In other Arab Muslim countries like Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the practice is nearly non-existent. Practiced by both Muslims and Christians in Egypt, it has been condemned by leading religious figures.

"I don't think very many people are taking the law seriously; they think the law is just something that is there that they can ignore - and the alarmingly high numbers are proof of that," said Mona Eltahawy, an activist, writer and author of a forthcoming book on the fight for gender equality in the Arab world. "I think it is something that Egypt uses to show the international community that the law is on the books."

The doctor in al-Batea's case continues to see patients in the girl's hometown
of Dierb Biqtaris

Still, other activists see the trial as an important opportunity for the government to send a clear message that the ban will be enforced.

"Sohair's case is very, very important in terms of implementing the law in Egypt," said Abu-Dayyeh, adding that it is the first time since the legislation was passed that anyone has been prosecuted for FGM. "We believe - and we hope - that the judge will sentence the father and the doctor under the FGM law."

Apart from setting a precedent for accountability in a country where very few people speak about the practice, Abu-Dayyeh said the trial has received considerable coverage in local media.

"The Egyptian media was very much interested [in the trial], and were with us in some of the sessions in court," she said.

Regardless of the impact of the trial and the criminalization of FGM, people like lawyer al-Dankoubi say more needs to be done to educate and raise awareness. While civil society groups have been working to do this, he says the state must do more to train preachers within the ministry of religious endowments to educate people about the dangers of FGM. In addition to enforcing the laws, he said punishments should be tougher.

Female sexuality

And for Eltahawy, it is what she calls "society's desire to control female sexuality" that needs to be addressed.

"What we need to confront in Egypt is our obsession with female virginity, because this is ultimately what FGM is about," she said. "FGM is a way that families control their girls' sex drives, and a way for society to control women's sexuality, and unless the conversation about FGM is carried out within those parameters, we stand no chance of eradicating it."

"You can have all the court cases you want and people will still do it, because they don't believe women have the right to sexual pleasure," she said.

Related Articles:


Kryon Q&A

Question: Dear and beloved Kryon: What should we know about "Brit-Mila" (Jewish circumcision)?

Answer: All circumcision was based on commonsense health issues of the day, which manifested itself in religious-based teaching. That basically is what made people keep doing it. This eighth-day-from-birth ritual is no more religious today than trimming your fingernails (except that Brit-Mila is only done once, and it hurts a bit more).

It's time to start seeing these things for what they are. Common sense is not static. It's dynamic, and related to the culture of the time. Yesterday's common sense about health changed greatly with the discovery of germs. It changed again with practices of cleanliness due to the discovery of germs, and so on. Therefore, we would say that it really doesn't make a lot of difference in today's health practices. It's done almost totally for cultural historic and traditional purposes and holds no energy around it other than the obvious intent of the tradition.

This is also true for a great deal of the admonishments of the Old Testament regarding food and cleanliness, and even the rules of the neighborhood (such as taking your neighbor's life if he steals your goat, or selling your daughter in slavery if you really need the money... all found in scripture). The times are gone where these things matter anymore, yet they're still treated with reverence and even practiced religiously in some places. They're now only relics of tradition, and that's all. If you feel that you should honor a tradition, then do it. If not, then don't. It's not a spiritual or health issue any longer.

Be the boss of your own body and your own traditions. Follow what your spiritual intuition tells you is appropriate for your own spiritual path and health.

Beating Ebola Means Drinking, Last Thing Patient Wants to Do

Bloomberg, Jason Gale, Nov 17, 2014

Dr. Fadipe Akinniyi Emmanuel, Ebola survivor, shows the daily dose of oral
 rehydration salts, or ORS, he and other survivors took to survive in Nigeria. 
(Photographer: Andrew Esiebo/World Health Organization via Bloomberg)

The best medical advice for surviving Ebola right now might fit in one word: drink.

With targeted drugs and vaccines at least months away, doctors and public health experts are learning from Ebola survivors what simple steps helped them beat the infection. Turns out drinking 4 liters (1 gallon) or more of rehydration solution a day -- a challenge for anyone and especially those wracked by relentless bouts of vomiting -- is crucial.

Related Slideshow: Liberia: Ebola's Ground Zero

“When people are infected, they get dry as a crisp really quickly,” said Simon Mardel, an emergency room doctor advising the World Health Organization on Ebola in Sierra Leone. “Then the tragedy is that they don’t want to drink.”


Aggressive fluid replacement was deemed critical in saving two American health-care workers with Ebola at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. Interviews Mardel and WHO colleagues conducted with six of the dozen patients who survived Ebola in Nigeria, where the fatality ratio was much lower, also point to the importance of drinking. Ada Igonoh, a doctor who caught Ebola in late July while working at the First Consultants Hospital in Lagos, said she took oral rehydration salts, or ORS, mixed in water as soon her gastrointestinal symptoms started -- even before her Ebola diagnosis. Once hospitalized, she trawled the Internet on her iPad for insights from survivors.

Ada Igonoh, a doctor who caught Ebola in late July while
 working at the First Consultants Hospital in Lagos, said
 she took oral rehydration salts, or ORS, mixed in water
 as soon her gastrointestinal symptoms started -- even
 before her Ebola diagnosis.  (Photographer: Andrew
Esiebo/World Health Organization via Bloomberg)

Studying in Seclusion

“I knew that in diarrheal diseases, shock from dehydration is the number one cause of death,” Igonoh said in an e-mail. “From my research on Ebola while in isolation, I found that to be true.”

The WHO shared transcripts of interviews with Igonoh and five other Ebola survivors with the patients’ permission to provide insight into clinical experiences and management. Igonoh also answered follow-up questions in a direct e-mail.

Patients in Liberia lost 5 liters of fluid a day from diarrhea alone, doctors treating cases there wrote in a Nov. 5 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Severe fluid loss can cause a type of shock that prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the body, eventually leading to multiple organ failure.

“As I took the ORS and treated dehydration, it provided me with energy, and my immune system was able to battle the virus,” 29-year-old Igonoh said.

Simple Message

Patients become “stunningly dehydrated” because they don’t feel like eating or drinking in the early stages of the illness, and then later they lose liters of fluid from profuse sweating, vomiting and diarrhea, according to Mardel. 
 
Source: WHO (Updated Nov. 14, 2014)


“You don’t want to drink, then you’re too weak,” he said in a telephone interview from Freetown. “In the last stage, you’re in shock and your gut has shut down.”

Mardel has worked on medical aid and emergency relief operations for 30 years, including responding to outbreaks of Lassa fever in Sierra Leone, Ebola in Uganda and Marburg virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mortality could be reduced by delivering a simple message about the importance of taking fluids and picking the right painkillers, he said. Paracetamol, the active ingredient in Panadol, is the preferred medication for pain and fever, and picking others such as aspirin and ibuprofen can worsen bleeding, he said.

“We will halve the mortality by firstly just stopping anti-inflammatories and giving hydration, and really pushing it,” Mardel said. “I want every man and woman in Sierra Leone to know this. I want sports personalities to be talking about it. I want everybody to be talking about it.”

Ebola Blueprint

In Nigeria, 40 percent of those known to have been infected died. Across the rest of West Africa, the fatality rate is about 70 percent.

Nigeria’s success in stopping Ebola shows how the virus can be stamped out and is a blueprint for other developing countries at risk of the disease, the WHO said after declaring Africa’s most-populous nation Ebola-free last month.

Related:

Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer introduced Ebola to Nigeria in July when he arrived on a flight to Lagos, a city with an estimated 21 million people, according to the WHO. In addition to Sawyer, five health workers and the protocol officer who received him at the airport died of Ebola, according to Nigeria’s health ministry. Twelve survived.

Learning from their experience and putting those lessons to use in other West African countries is key, because too many patients arrive at treatment centers severely parched and difficult to salvage, Mardel said.

Spurning Care

Patients typically seek medical aid after five days of illness, according to a study of Ebola cases in Conakry also published Nov. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Over eight to 10 days of illness, you will need possibly 40 liters of fluid,” Mardel said. “Day after day, if you’re not getting that, we can’t suddenly give you 20 liters to catch up.”

A fluid deficit and “profound electrolyte derangement” appears to increase the risk of death, the WHO said in a Nov. 6 statement. In that document, the Geneva-based agency recommended intravenous rehydration. Not everyone agrees that that delivery route is the best way to go. Oral rehydration, which is taken up in the gut, seems to help patients maintain a better balance of electrolytes, according to Mardel.

Don’t Gulp

Most intravenous rehydration fluids also don’t have much potassium, calcium, or magnesium, doctors at Emory University Hospital wrote in their journal article last week. They recommend supplementing oral rehydration with all three, especially in patients with large-volume diarrhea.

Still, drinking has its challenges. Patients must overcome recurring nausea, as well as debilitating joint pain that can make gripping and movement difficult.

Ebola survivor Fadipe Akinniyi Emmanuel, another doctor at the First Consultants Hospital where Igonoh works, said gulping down the rehydration solution made him sick.

“Each time I attempted to take the ORS, I vomited,” he told the WHO, according to the transcript. Eventually, Emmanuel found he could keep down 4 liters of fluids a day by taking frequent, small sips between bouts of nausea.

‘Most Important Thing’

Rehydration is “the single most important thing” in the management of Ebola, Emmanuel said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“It really helped restore what I was losing when I was stooling and vomiting relentlessly,” said the 29-year-old doctor, who still suffers occasional joint pain and stiffness as a result of his past Ebola infection.

Flavoring the liquid also helps. The granules that Emmanuel’s colleague Igonoh took at home were orange-flavored and much more pleasant than the flavorless kind she was given in the hospital, she said.

“I had to mentally force myself,” she said, according to the transcript.

Igonoh used less of the rehydration salts per liter of water than recommended because a more diluted brew was easier to stomach, helping her to increase her intake, she said.

“You don’t want to drink anything,” Igonoh said. “You are too weak.” That’s when morale is key, said the doctor, who now sports a shaved head after the viral illness caused most of her hair to fall out. “You should be able to tell yourself, no matter how many people die, you are going to survive. And you will survive.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Melbourne at j.gale@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elyse Tanouye at etanouye@bloomberg.net Marthe Fourcade, Terje Langeland

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One of those times might be frightening for you to know about, since it was a full cooperation with Gaia for your termination, and a pandemic almost wiped humanity off the map. A pandemic! Now, you say, "What has that got to do with Human consciousness, Kryon?" Pay attention, dear ones, because this is the day where the teaching was given by my partner, and he put together the Nine Human Attributes. One of the attribute sets included three Gaia attributes and one of them was the consciousness of the planet. Gaia is related to Human consciousness!

Are you starting to connect the dots? You are connected to this planet in a profound and spiritual way. As goes humanity goes the planet's consciousness. Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call it, cooperates with Human consciousness. If you spend 1,000 years killing each other, then Gaia will do its best to cooperate with your desires! Gaia will look at Human consciousness and try to help with what you have shown you like to do! Did you know this role of Gaia with you? It's a partner with you, fast tracking what you give to it. You may wish to review what the indigenous of the planet still understand. Gaia is a partner!

Pandemic: Don't you find it odd that in the last 50 years, when you have a population of seven billion Human Beings, with up to 2,000 airplanes in the air at any given moment, going between almost every conceivable place, that there has not been a pandemic in your lifetime? There have been five starts of potential pandemics over the last 20 years, yet none became serious. Did any of you put this together? Dear ones, when the world was far less populated a few hundred years ago, with no mass travel to spread a virus, there were still millions wiped out by a pandemic. With the increased population and mass travel, there is far more danger today than before. It doesn't make sense, does it? What happened to stop it?

When you know humanity's relationship to Gaia, it makes sense. Gaia is a life-force that is your partner, watching you change the balance of light and dark and reflecting what Humans want. It has polarity, too! Perhaps it's time to start your meditations with thanking your planet Earth for supporting you in the spirituality of your Akash, for always being with you, a life-force that is always present. The ancients started their ceremonies in that way. Have you forgotten?

Ebola

Now, I've just set the stage for the next subject, haven't I? Ebola. Are you afraid yet? Gaia is a life-force that is a part of Human consciousness. My partner put it on the screen today so you could see the connections [during the lecture series]. Now it's time to connect the dots. Dear one, Gaia is in the battle, too, for here comes something scary that you haven't had in your lifetime and you're afraid of it - the potential of a pandemic on the planet.

There's a very famous film that has some dialogue that my partner will quote. Some of you will know it and some of you won't, but here it is: "Have a little fire, scarecrow?" What are you afraid of? Darkness? Gaia is in the battle with you and is actively pursuing solutions through light. The energy of the planet is with you in this fight! The ebola virus is a shock and a surprise. It is propelled by ignorance and fear, so it can flourish. Look at where it started and look at how it gets its ability to continue. It expands its fear and power easily with those who believe it's a curse instead of those who understand the science.

Villages are filled with those who refuse to leave their family members because they believe the disease is a curse! FEAR! Instead of understanding that they should be in isolation from the virus, the family dies together through ignorance and fear. This represents how darkness works. Are you going to become afraid also? Dear ones, ebola will be conquered. Know this and be at peace. Pray for light for those in the villages who are afraid, that they can know more about how to keep the spread of this disease and live to see their families. .”